I found out I was pregnant my first year of dental school and against all the negativity I received telling me I could never do both, I pushed through fighting everyday. There was even more negativity regarding my decision for a natural child birth (people are crazy!) I had a beautiful 100% natural hospital birth and I wouldn’t change a thing. These pictures are a small glimpse of the best day of my entire life. I’m still in dental school and I have a healthy happy 9 month old baby boy. Thank you for everything you do, you inspire me to help other women and continue to Live Without Fear!
When I found out I was pregnant, I was terrified. I just started dental school and my significant other (Mark) just started medical school. We felt a lot of pressure to consider abortion and wait to start a family after our career. I couldn’t help but think how selfish that would have be. I stood my ground and told everyone I was keeping the baby and I am going to finish school.
I spent the next nine months in lectures and labs from 8-5 everyday and then studying from every second I could stay awake. I even slept at the health science center on a couch in a study room the night before a histo final. I prepared myself for a natural birth by watching documentaries such as the business of being born and reading books like the thinking woman’s guide to a natural birth. I did activities like prenatal yoga every week, reading books and playing music for baby to remind myself of the wonderful experience I was going through. It was hard to fully enjoy being pregnant. I had to live each day as if nothing was different and wearing scrubs didn’t show off my baby bump until the last month or so of pregnancy…. Half of the dental school didn’t even know I was expecting. Luckily I met the most amazing woman during my time in prenatal yoga. She had been a doula for 25 years. She helped filter out the negativity and keep me balanced, she also introduced me to the doula who was present at my birth.
I’ll never forget the day he decided to arrive, it was a Monday during the summer semester and we had one week left until our week summer vacation. The day before my partner and I just moved into a new home and I had been scrubbing the floors and painting a dresser. He decided to come at 38weeks. Mark dropped me off at 7:45 for class, I felt my underwear get wet but I didn’t think anything of it until half way through the morning lecture. I got up and went to the ladies room and realized my water had broke. It was just a small leak so I thought maybe I could make it through the day. I stayed and finished the morning lecture and lab and called my midwife at lunch. She told me to go home and lay down and she if I start having contractions and asked me to come in at 6pm. I went home and went to sleep, a few of my classmates came offer to check one me after class and I was feeling fine (still just a leak). Then when 6pm came I felt a huge gush and I couldn’t contain all of the fluid coming out.
When we checked in at the hospital they immediately tested to make sure it was indeed amniotic fluid. The midwife on call happened to be the only midwife I had ever had the chance to meet (Esta). She told me that if I didn’t have the baby before 1 am that he would be delivered by a doctor, so I was terrified that interventions would start. the suggested pit and I said absolutely not. Mark and I got into our room (the only room with a birthing tub thank God!) and we started doing different things to get labor going (nipple stimulation, pressure points in the legs). Within no time I was in full blown labor. It was my doulas birthday and she has five children of her own so I didn’t think she would make it, but she came just in time.
Mark and I were in and out of the tub for a while. By 10pm I was begging my doula to let me start pushing. She rushed to get Esta (who couldn’t believe I was already ready to push). She checked me and sure enough I was 10cm and ready. I moved out of the tub into the bed and in a backwards squatting position with mark in from of me and my arms around his head I started pushing. I rememeber doing the bumble bees noises I had been taught and yelling for Esta to please help him get out safely. Within less than an hour of pushing, 6lb 1oz 19inch Mark Christopher Jr was here at 10:53pm. I turned over and brought him close to my chest immediately. It was the best feeling I have ever felt in my life. I was a mommy, I finally new the meaning of true love and devotion.
I was so lucky He arrived when he did. I only missed 4 1/2 days of school. My only regret is not being able to breast feed, after 2 weeks of exclusive breast feeding I got mastitis in both breasts. It was worse than giving birth! I struggled for almost a month and by the time I was functional, I was all dried up. I also remember reading a blog about anxiety while breast feeding and pumping. I tried desperately to get back my supply and keep pumping but I had the worst anxiety and I couldn’t bear it. I pray I can breastfeed my next child. It was an amazing two weeks. I will never forget the feeling of being able to feed my baby. I am so thankful for BWF and people like all of you out there reading this story. I plan on helping support woman with their birthing experiences and I hope to become a doula sometime in the near future. A classmate of mine is actually expecting her first baby in September and I am so lucky to be a part of it. Thanks again for reading. Continue to Live Without Fear.